english posts

The coalition of Olympic perpetrators

The IOC and the Olympic federations are obliged to do much more to punish Russia and its warmonger, Vladimir Putin, argues investigative reporter Jens Weinreich and provides a long list of examples. He calls for a comprehensive independent criminal investigation of the longstanding deep connection of the Olympic institutions with the Kremlin within the framework of the EU. (Comment first published by Play the Game)

A week after the Russian invasion in the Ukraine, world sport led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has largely cut ties with the aggressors Russia and Belarus.

Under great public pressure, the IOC gave direction in a statement on 28 February. A few hours later, the two federations with the highest turnover in the Olympic business besides the IOC acted: the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Both excluded Russian teams from their competitions.

At the same time, in the middle of a war, UEFA terminated the sponsorship agreement with its long-time partner Gazprom. While the IOC decisions affect Russia and Belarus, FIFA and UEFA exempt Belarus from the sanctions.

This came a week after the first of so far five sanctions packages by the European Union – and two days after the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports and the The National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark called for Russia and Belarus to be completely excluded from sports. Two days feel like two months in times of war, when events are overlapping. Two days are half an eternity. 

Child athletes are too valuable for the Olympic system to set age limits

The Olympic Games thrive on high-performing children – some of them so young that they are not even allowed to compete in the Youth Olympic Games. Jens Weinreich discusses why it is so hard for Olympic sports federations to set age limits and shows how it leaves child athletes vulnerable to authoritarian states chasing medals and sport glory. (First published by Play the Game)

The doping case of Kamila Valieva has raised questions about a minimum age for Olympic athletes. Again. The age rules are defined very differently in the seven Olympic winter sports federations. It is no different among the summer sports federations. Age regulations sometimes differ even within these federations, depending on the sport, discipline, or gender. In the International Skating Union (ISU), a proposal to raise the minimum age in figure skating from fifteen to seventeen years failed most recently in June 2018. Of course, at the ISU congress at the time, the Russians also voted against this proposal.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) introduced the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at its 2007 Session in Guatemala. Why are there these global competitions called YOG, when at the same time children participate in – how shall we say: real – Olympic Games? Why is there so little coordination? Why has not even the IOC, as the sole owner of these circus events, reminded us of these Youth Games in the bitter discussions of the past weeks?

Das Jahr der Schande: Katar und China sind Krebsgeschwüre der olympischen Bewegung

Olympische Würdenträger Xi Jinping, Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. (Foto: IMAGO/UPI)

Reden wir Klartext, es wird zu viel beschwichtigt, verfälscht und gelogen. Vergessen wir das irreführende Geschwafel vom Soft-Power-Potential des Sports und von angeblichen Segnungen von Mega-Events, die in Diktaturen ausgetragen werden. Sagen, was ist:

2022 ist ein Jahr der Schande für den olympischen Sport.

Weder sollten die Winterspiele in China, noch die Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft der Männer in Katar stattfinden.

China und Katar sind Sport-Schurkenstaaten.

Beide Großereignisse hätten aus vielerlei Gründen nie dorthin vergeben werden dürfen. 

In China werden unter der Diktatur der kommunistischen Partei Menschen- und Bürgerrechte mit Füßen getreten. China verübt einen Genozid an den Uiguren. Die Sommerspiele 2008 in Peking, die von den Propagandisten Olympias als Öffnung des Landes gepriesen wurden, haben nichts zum Positiven verändert. Es ist viel schlimmer geworden: in Tibet, in Hongkong, in Xinjiang und anderen Regionen.

Das kleine aber steinreiche Katar ist eine Erbmonarchie, in der die Scharia gilt. Katar hat den Weltsport in den vergangenen zwei Jahrzehnten mit einem beispiellosen, engmaschigen korruptiven Netz überzogen. Katar kauft und infiltriert alles und jeden: Weltmeisterschaften, Verbände, Funktionäre, Sportler, Vereine, Staats- und Regierungschefs, Abgeordnete, Wissenschaftler und Nichtregierungsorganisationen, politische Gremien, Medien und Journalisten.

Football Queensland: The nightmare before Christmas

Extensive whistleblower testimony provided to SPORT & POLITICS shows Football Queensland (FQ) to be riven by allegations of sexual misconduct, racism, bullying and sexism.

It is alleged that its President Ben Richardson – who we revealed in August to have lied extensively on his CV ahead of the federation’s election – rose to office off the back of a mishandled sexual misconduct case.

Further allegations include:

  • misuse of funds
  • culture of paranoia and fear
  • racism
  • sexism
  • faulty HR and recruitment processes

They further bring into question why Football Federation Australia (FFA) has not intervened in the ongoing saga of a state federation that seems to be out of control.

Instead, we understand that the FFA CEO, James Johnson, has partnered with Football Queensland in a pilot project on governance.

Christmas hijinks

When Football Queensland’s staff and directors gather at the Wilston home of its CEO Robert Cavallucci this Friday (11 December) for the organisation’s Christmas party, the bosses of the troubled state federation will be hoping that the event passes more peaceably than the Christmas Party it staged two years ago.

Hosted at the Pineapple Hotel near the Gabba, Football Queensland’s 2018 Christmas party was a boozy, raucous and fun affair. The state federation had flown down members from its zones for a day of meetings, which were to be concluded with a night of partying. The Pineapple has been serving food and booze to Brisbanites for 150 years and offers ‘signature steaks, pub classics, woodfired pizzas and bar snacks’ to its patrons. Its bar, it boasts, ‘projects gentlemanly character mixed with a good dash of larrikin.’ Although it was still only November, everyone was enjoying themselves.

But at the president’s table, the conversation took on a more sordid complexion. A female member of staff had attracted the attention of Glenn Smith, then president, who was deep in conversation with another board member, Tony Davis.

‘He made a lewd and disgusting comment about the size of her breasts,’ said a FQ staffer.

The staff member who was subject of this unwanted attention wasn’t present at the table, but two other colleagues were. Appalled by the conduct of the organisation’s president they reported the comments to Football Queensland’s then CEO Richard Griffiths.

The case of Ben Richardson and the accomplices in the Football Federation Australia, in media and even Sport Integrity Australia

Support Bonita Mersiades!

Serious and unanswered questions remain about how the spurious and illegitimate defamation case against activist, writer and whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades, is being funded, despite questions being raised at the highest levels of the sport in Australia.

Football Queensland (FQ) bosses Ben Richardson and Robert Cavallucci are seeking to destroy Mersiades by claiming $800,000 in damages (plus interest) with a bogus lawsuit, alleging defamation for a story that is nothing more than a factually correct report. You can read about the case here:

  1. How an out of touch federation is trying to destroy Australian sporting hero and whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades
  2. The curious case of Benjamin Richardson
  3. The Ben Richardson Case: Queensland Spin Cycle
  4. The Ben Richardson Case. Mysterious Hack Attacks from Queensland.
  5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Richardson: The recruitment consultant and the dodgy CV

There are many questions about the error strewn legal documents submitted to the Queensland Court by the pair’s lawyer Ashley Tiplady (Mills Oakley) who even managed in one filing to get the name of the website in which this so-called defamation took place wrong, but one fundamental question will not go away:

Who is funding this ridiculous case?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Richardson: The recruitment consultant and the dodgy CV

CV Ben Richardson, July 2020

Football Queensland president Benjamin Richardson has left behind a string of failed businesses, owing the Australian revenue at least $150,000 of unpaid taxes, while a bankrupt company under his control has drawn the condemnation of a liquidator for breaches of corporate law.

Richardson also misled voters when successfully standing for re-election as FQ President last month by circulating a curriculum vitae full of distortions and half-truths

The scandal raises serious questions of FQ’s and FFA’s due diligence processes and is out-of-step with FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport guidelines on integrity checks for senior level office-holders.

Richardson, along with FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci, is engaged in a spurious defamation case against Australian football activist, publisher and whistleblower Bonita Mersiades.

Richardson and Cavallucci are seeking $800,000 plus interest. They want to destroy Mersiades.

Putting this absurd, formidable demand against the backdrop of Richardson’s strange business practices, there may be some important answers.

We have written about the case here:

The Ben Richardson Case. Mysterious Hack Attacks from Queensland.

Over the past week a number of individuals connected with Bonita Mersiades’s fight for justice against a spurious defamation action that is intended to destroy her (remember, the plaintiffs Benjamin Richardson and Robert Cavallucci are seeking $800,000 PLUS interest) have encountered the sharp end of these twenty-first century crimes.

Hacking. Fake email accounts. Denial-of-service attacks.

Cybercrime.

We published our first investigation on the Ben Richardson case last Friday. It has caused a stir in Australia, far beyond the football community.

Only a few hours later, last weekend, and again on the early hours of Wednesday, right after the publication of our third article, this website encountered at least two separate denial of service attempts and was for a short period not accessible.

Investigators have told us these crude attacks were linked to a single computer in Queensland, Australia.

Mysterious.

Exclusive: A leaked list discloses how much cash the IOC has paid for the 2016 Olympics in Rio

SPORT & POLITICS, Heft 2

For the first time it can be revealed in detail how much cash the IOC paid to an Olympic host. Investigative journalist Jens Weinreich publishes the list of 117 payments to Rio 2016 in a worldwide exclusive in his magazine SPORT & POLITICS. The revelation helps to understand one of the most fundamental questions around the Olympic movement these days:

What kind of contribution can Tokyo 2020 really expect from the IOC?

EXCLUSIVE: How dependent federations are on the revenues of the Olympic Games

IOC President Thomas Bach receives a $ 8.8 million donation from FIE president Alisher Usmanov: The Original Manuscript outlining the revival of the Olympics by Pierre de Coubertin. (Photograph by Greg Martin/IOC)

How does IOC President Thomas Bach manage the crisis around the Tokyo Games? Criticism is stifled and there is no financial plan for sports federations affected by the postponement.

Growing pressure as the IOC and Japan play for time

The Olympic flame arrived in Japan. (TOCOG)

Let’s not kid ourselves: the Olympic Games can not and will not take place in Tokyo this year. Big appeals are not necessary. Sooner or later, the reality will catch up even with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Olympic Games are not immune to COVID-19, even if the Lords of the Rings in the last few weeks have given that impression through actions that are difficult to understand. The first IOC member, Prince Albert of Monaco, has contracted the virus and is in quarantine. And Greek IOC member Spyros Capralos, once involved in illegal Olympic ticketing, indicated when he handed the Olympic torch over to the Japanese that the fire could defeat the corona virus.

If only it was that easy.

A decade that opened windows of democracy in sport

Zum neuen Jahr, zum neuen Jahrzehnt: Ein Kommentar meines Freundes Jens Sejer Andersen, Gründer und Direktor Internationales der Organisation und Konferenz Play the Game.

It was not primarily the athletes that drove the radical change of the sports agenda in the decade we leave. But there are signs that athletes will be at the heart of the agenda of the 2020’ies, writes Play the Game’s international director in a wind-up of ten turbulent years in world sport.

live aus PyeongChang (16). Claim and reality: IOC as the bearer of world peace

[caption id="attachment_27156" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Foto: IOC Media[/caption]

GANGNEUNG. Meine gestrigen Anmerkungen zum Friedensnobelpreisthema habe ich für Play the Game ins Englische übertragen, soweit ich es vermochte. Dies sei auch hier zur Diskussion gestellt:

In the International Olympic Committee (IOC), there is a growing gap between appearance and reality, claim and reality. The huge contradictions cannot be ignored. There is the reality of doping, and not only emanating from the Russian state doping system, but also from the various forms of ‘Olympic crime’. Especially in connection with the Olympic Games in Sochi, the medal count of which will still be shaken up for years to come, the IOC has shown that it does not protect the clean athletes. Athletes around the world have lost confidence. However, everything will change now, the promise sounds.

The gloomy headlines that have dominated the Olympic world for many years are met with energetic, yet desperate attempts to invoke lofty Olympic ideals. When the need is biggest, old Coubertin once again must come to rescue.

In PyeongChang, at the XXIII Winter Olympics in the southern part of the divided Korean peninsula, the IOC promotes itself as an angel of peace. „Peace and reconciliation“, it is called in February 2018. In the summer of 1988, when Olympia first appeared in South Korea, it was put more simply, in the Buddhist sense, „peace and harmony“.

In 1988, hundreds of white doves died in the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony in Seoul. Since then, no living pigeons have been released at the ceremonies. On the 9th of February, at the opening ceremony in PyeongChang, instead, a massive peace dove was formed by human bodies.

The symbolism is clear.

Sentimental headlines cover for fundamental problems.